Albums to watch

Morning Phase

Beck

Morning Phase

First proper album release in six years from the acclaimed alt.rock / anti-folk singer-songwriter, described by him as a "companion piece" to his 2002 confessional LP Sea Change

ADM rating[?]

7.9

Label
Capitol
UK Release date
24/02/2014
US Release date
25/02/2014
  1. 10.0 |   Mojo

    It's reassuring that Beck Hanson can still pull an original record as substantive and absorbing as this one out of the hat. Print edition only

  2. 10.0 |   The Arts Desk

    This is not a record of exceptional moments, rather one of sustained ethereal meditation
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  3. 9.1 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    Morning Phase never sounds anything less than opulent
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  4. 9.0 |   Rolling Stone

    At its core, Morning Phase is a record about what to do when the world seems totally fucked. Irony doesn't cut it anymore; truth, beauty and resolve are the best weapons
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  5. 9.0 |   Under The Radar

    This is the most refreshed Beck has sounded in a decade; it's his best album in that much time, easily, and sure to be instantly beloved by fans who hold Sea Change to be his crowning work
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  6. 9.0 |   God Is In The TV

    Once you’ve heard the opening ‘Cycle’ and ‘Morning’ you’ll want to stay the whole way for the 47 minute ride
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  7. 9.0 |   FasterLouder

    The sonic template is the post-Laurel Canyon AOR of the mid-seventies: breezy, strummy, acoustic guitars, phasers on pianos, and phrases with more than a touch of Lindsey Buckingham’s precious over-enunciation
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  8. 9.0 |   music OMH

    Beck proves once again here that he’s a tremendously versatile artist, capable of excelling throughout the musical spectrum
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  9. 8.3 |   Consequence Of Sound

    The record finds the artist reprising his acoustic troubadour role for the first time in more than a decade
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  10. 8.3 |   A.V. Club

    If Sea Change was the entrance to a long, dark tunnel—reportedly the fruit of a bad breakup—then Morning Phase might be the point at which light is finally starting to show itself, at least musically
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  11. 8.0 |   Spin

    If UV-induced bliss strikes you as a worthy enough concept for immersion (and why shouldn't it), well, submit to the reverb
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  12. 8.0 |   Entertainment.ie

    It's never easy to guess where he's going to go next, but this path of bluesy contemplation is one that serves Beck extremely well, as evidenced in the stellar Morning Phase
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  13. 8.0 |   No Ripcord

    There’s a reason why Hansen decided to revisit the stately sway of Sea Change, though obscuring its purpose may be his way of accepting that there’s no way of ever surpassing its original source with the same clout
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  14. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    One for a lazy Sunday afternoon
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  15. 8.0 |   The FT

    Bass and drums toll away while hints of 1970s folk and country emerge in slowly unfolding melodies
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  16. 8.0 |   Independent on Sunday

    Morning Phase is an often gorgeous sequel to Sea Change, but it’s also more than that: it’s cheering proof that Beck isn’t ready to start repeating himself just yet
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  17. 8.0 |   State

    If there is one criticism to be made of Morning Phase it’s that it sounds unmistakably like a Beck album and therefore doen’t demonstrate a notable artistic progression. Then again, as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
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  18. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    Despite the lyrical themes, the record's sun-dappled shimmer suggests Beck sees a way out of his emotional hole
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  19. 8.0 |   DIY

    This is acoustic Beck, and it’s acoustic Beck at his most sublime
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  20. 8.0 |   NME

    The musical magpie adds majestic bleakness to classic Laurel Canyon folk rock
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  21. 8.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    It's an altogether brighter beast, built by an older, wiser soul who seems to have been taking a few years to work out exactly where he wants to be as an artist.
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  22. 8.0 |   Slant Magazine

    Gorgeously rendered but still ponderous, the album boasts a quiet strength that ultimately derives from the remarkable ability of its creator to deliver his grim sobriety with vibrancy and elegance
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  23. 8.0 |   Q

    In short, Beck Hanson has properly re-acquired his mojo. Print edition only

  24. 8.0 |   The Music

    Let’s hope Morning Phase is the birth of a new era and not just another flight of fickle fancy
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  25. 8.0 |   Clash

    Self-described as “California music”, the influence of The Byrds, Neil Young, and Crosby, Stills and Nash permeate throughout, and there’s an awful lot to love
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  26. 8.0 |   The Independent

    It’s a much better album than Sea Change, just as immersive, but wiser and less indulgently wallowing
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  27. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    Too bleak for some? Maybe, but in this instance Morning Phase is pure morning glory
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  28. 8.0 |   The 405

    Morning Phase is a terrific mood piece and a worthy follow-up, even if in spirit only, to Sea Change; it lacks the gripping unease of that album, but replaces it capably with genuine warmth and a sunnier outlook
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  29. 7.0 |   Uncut

    Returns to the Beck of Sea Of Change, the plangent, acoustic, confessional album he recorded in 2002
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  30. 7.0 |   All Music

    Beck has swapped sorrow for mere melancholy, a shift in attitude that makes this 2014 album sweeter than its predecessor
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  31. 7.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    The songs themselves are as strong as ever - this may well prove to be the biggest grower in Beck’s catalogue
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  32. 7.0 |   The Fly

    It’s a largely acoustic affair free of the smash-and-grab pastiche that remains the LA veteran’s calling card
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  33. 6.8 |   Pitchfork

    Not only does it uphold the myths of baby boomer greats like the Byrds, Neil Young, and Simon and Garfunkel with a staid type of reverence, but it also piggybacks on the legacy of one of Beck's best records
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  34. 6.0 |   The Observer

    It is emphatically not a record for people in a hurry
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  35. 6.0 |   PopMatters

    Morning Phase may not be the out-and-out masterpiece that everyone says it is, but anytime we are blessed with a very-good Beck album, the world is all the richer because of it
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  36. 6.0 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    Exceedingly lovely but disappointedly insubstantial
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  37. 5.0 |   The Quietus

    I was hoping for a leap forward, but Morning Phase just feels like a very pretty place to sit and wait for one
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Beck: Morning Phase

  • Download full album for just £8.49
  • 1. Cycle £0.99
  • 2. Morning £0.99
  • 3. Heart Is A Drum £0.99
  • 4. Say Goodbye £0.99
  • 5. Blue Moon £0.99
  • 6. Unforgiven £0.99
  • 7. Wave £0.99
  • 8. Don't Let It Go £0.99
  • 9. Blackbird Chain £0.99
  • 10. Phase £0.99
  • 11. Turn Away £0.99
  • 12. Country Down £0.99
  • 13. Waking Light £0.99
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